Seymour Valley Community Newsletter
by Bill Maurer
This is the first in a series of newsletters disseminating news and information of what is happening in your community. Send missing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or register on the web site at http://seymourvalley.ca. There are currently 52 people on our email list.
The geographic area covered by the Seymour Valley Community is the Seymour River Valley north of the Seymour Parkway. This includes Riverside Drive, Edgewater Lane, Chapman Way, Treetop Lane, Rivergrove Place, Riverbank Place, Swinburne Ave, Grantham Place, Seymour Blvd, Bow Court, Seymour Court, Heritage Blvd, Tanager Place, and Hilary Place.
If you have any neighbourhood issue you are interested in becoming the contact for then get it added to the issues list and keep people informed or get them involved in the cause. You can do this by sending an email to email@example.com or calling me at 929-9442.
Everyone has a say in how community changes are made and it is not a requirement to be active on any particular issue to have a say in that issue. In fact it is an obligation of the people that are active on an issue to ensure that information regarding the issue is disseminated back to the community so people can make informed decisions. That's the purpose of these newsletters, the website, and the mailouts.
There are currently 3 active issues being worked on by residents of our community:
Issue Contact Phone Web Page Traffic Calming Phil Holland 924-1087 firstname.lastname@example.org http://seymourvalley.ca/speedhumps SVCA Organization Bill Maurer 929-9442 email@example.com http://seymourvalley.ca/svca Bear Awareness Barbara Murray 924-0807 firstname.lastname@example.org http://seymourvalley.ca/bears
You should have all received the petition results letter by now. This was sent to all residents of Seymour Valley East on November 15 by Phil Holland. The Traffic Planning department has formed an expanded advisory group which now includes a more representative number of members opposed to the speed hump traffic calming devices. This group held its first meeting on November 28 with residents that are 50% for and 50% against speed humps as an effective traffic calming device. Although this does not accurately reflect the 25% for and 75% against distribution in the neighbourhood the primary goal of these advisory meetings is to come up with a strategy for holding open community meetings which encourage input from everyone.
We now have a copy of the 1999 Traffic Calming Policy which is still in effect in the District of North Vancouver. This policy represents the rules to be followed to justify the installation of Traffic Calming devices. Although traffic planning staff followed the process for conducting meetings, they ignored the criteria that needed to be met in order to proceed and in fact failed to meet these criteria. Details can be found in the Traffic Calming Policy Not Followed in Speed Hump Installation document. Now that everyone can access copies of the policy we will ensure that future community meetings strictly adhere to it. The next advisory meeting is on Wednesday December 12th.
The speed humps were installed on September 15 with a 3 month trial period which ends on December 15. At that time Richard Zerr 990-2387 email@example.com (and/or his staff) will present another Report To Council which will recommend whether to keep or remove the humps. He is taking this matter "under advisement" and will be establishing the staff position in the next few days.
The Seymour Valley Community Association (SVCA) was formed in 1997 and represents your neighbourhood to the District. It is supposed to represent a unified voice with a mandate to improve the area’s quality of life. All adult residents of the neighbourhood are automatically members of the association.
The reality is that the current organization is run by a small number of individuals and is neither inviting the community to its meetings nor representing the majority view to District Council. Members of the SVCA executive have successfully managed to alter the neighbourhood in ways that are not endorsed by the majority of residents and that has decreased the area's quality of life for many of its residents.
The chairman of the SVCA Ray Burns assured me that a meeting would be held before the end of the year and that an AGM would be held in January. We are still waiting for the first meeting to materialize. Council and District Staff are asking that we remain patient and give the current executive the opportunity to organize a meeting. If this doesn't happen we will request the assistance of Council and FONVCA to ensure that an AGM is in fact held in January and that a properly elected executive runs this association.
A meeting was held on November 20, 2001 at the home of Barbara Murray with about 20 residents and Kevin Bell, Section Manager-Urban Parkland, DNV to discuss the issue of bears.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss how District of North Van residents can coexist with bears.
Kevin is drafting a bylaw which will go before council early next year which will require District residents living in bear areas to store their garbage in ways in which it won't attract bears. Wording was discussed that would make the bylaw acceptable to residents while still maintaining its effectiveness of keeping bears away from our garbage. Education was considered a key component and residents will be instructed on how they can bear-proof thier garbage in circumstances where it is attracting bears. If garbage is left out bears will become habituated to the garbage ("garbage bears") and will keep returning to this food source. This happened this year on Riverside, Treetop, and Rivergrove with one or more bears. A couple of bears were shot a few weeks ago towards the end of the season due to this. This is in marked contrast to the 30 bears which were killed on the North Shore a couple of years ago. Whistler has an established bear awareness program which is being used as the model for this.
There was also a discussion of the problem of the availability of conservation officers and the district ranger which work from 9 to 5 in contrast to the bears which seem to work from 5 to 9. Some Treetop residents had frustrating experiences with the various phone up lines which were not dispatching anyone unless there was an immediate threat to humans. Relocating bears is no longer considered an effective way of solving the problem of bears eating human garbage. They have been known to travel hundreds of kilometers to return to their original location. Hazing is considered more effective where a bear is scared away from the garbage in a non-lethal manner. District RCMP officers were given a few hazing kits earlier this year but the RCMP officers did not receive adequate training and therefore did not use the kits. It is hoped that they will be trained and be able to use the kits by next April when the bears wake up. RCMP are the only people that are able to respond to resident complaints in evening hours when bears commonly show up.